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Southern California Gardening: Lawn Care for Fall

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Lowe’s Southern California gardening contributor offers advice on caring for your lawn from fall into winter.

Southern California residential lawn
Lawn and garden

By Bonnie Jo Manion

While the trend in Southern California is to downsize the lawn, that doesn’t means lawns are totally out. In fact it is nice to have a little lawn as part of your garden because lawns provide visual breaks from intensive plantings.

Lawns also offer convenient spots for social gatherings, playing games, and lounging. In addition lawns bring a reprieve from expanses of asphalt and concrete, provide a cooling effect, and even add oxygen to the surroundings.

Lawn in a commercial property

Lawns are not exclusive to residential properties but can add green lushness and softness to commercial properties too.

As we move into our fall season, remember fall often is an extension of our summer, with warm temperatures and sometimes drying Santa Ana winds. It is important to continue to water your lawn to maintain soil moisture. Grass continues to grow in fall, and you should continue to mow your lawn.

Raise your lawn mower cutting height by a 1/2 inch. This encourages grass roots to grow deeper and provides grass roots with more insulation once temperatures drop. Raking and keeping fallen leaves off your lawn helps control overwintering insects and diseases.

leaves in a fall lawn

As temperatures continue to drop, moving into winter, decrease your watering. Grass grows more slowly, and mowing may not be necessary until next spring.

Know which type of lawn you have: cool-season or warm-season. Cool-season grasses typically are ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescues. Examples of warm-season lawns are Bermuda and zoysia. Plan on fertilizing cool-season or warm-season lawns in late fall or early winter. Cool-season lawns prefer an average amount of nitrogen and extra potassium, while warm-season lawns benefit with extra potassium but require less nitrogen. A Lowe’s garden specialist can help you decide which products to use, as well as the best times to apply them.

Remember: A little lawn can go a long way. Implement these easy suggestions for your lawn to keep it beautiful through the fall and ensure it winterizes successfully.

See more Southern California Gardening Articles.